Lewis, Bannister spark road win over Ole Miss

Mississippi's Valencia McFarland, right, slips while defended by Florida's Cassie Peoples, left, during an NCAA college basketball game in Oxford, Miss. on Sunday. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)

Published: Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 5:20 p.m.

Oxford, Miss. — The Gators used a 17-1 run early in the second half to fuel an 81-60 road win at Ole Miss in the Tad Smith Coliseum Sunday.


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A number of individual performances highlighted Florida's third consecutive victory.

Kayla Lewis scored 19 points on 9-12 field goals and 12 rebounds with three steals, as the Gator junior posted her fifth double-double of the season and eighth of her career.

Sophomore Antoinette Bannister scored a career-high 18 points, hitting 7-13 from the floor, including a 3-5 effort from the three-point arc. Bannister sparked UF's early 19-6 first-half run when she scored 12 points, one shy of her career-best scoring effort, and successfully converted the first three-point-play of her career.

Senior Lily Svete scored all of her 12 points in the second half when the Gators outscored the Rebels, 48-29. Svete drilled four three-pointers on nine attempts, while grabbing five rebounds.

Despite big foul trouble early, freshman Ronni Williams finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists in just 14 minutes of action. The rookie scored six of her points during the game-breaking 17-1 run, when Lewis scored four points, Svete three and Bannister and Jaterra Bonds two each.

That spree put the Gators in front 56-36 with 14:42 remaining and Florida never looked back, as Svete seemingly drilled a three every time Ole Miss tried to make a run.

Bonds finished with nine points, while Cassie Peoples dished a game-high seven assists with just three turnovers, while collecting four of UF's 11 steals.

Ole Miss jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead before Williams successfully converted the first three-point play of her career. UM came right back with a bucket before Bonds' scoop shot fell and Williams nailed a 16-footer that brought Florida within two points.

The teams traded scores and with UM holding a 14-10 lead, the Gators ripped off a 19-6 spree and took a 29-20 advantage capped by Lewis' offensive rebound putback at the 7:38 mark.

Ole Miss went on an 11-2 run and tied the game at 31 with 42 seconds remaining in the first half, but Lewis picked up a loose ball rebound and hit the five-footer in the paint, as Florida took a 33-31 halftime lead.

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